In September, four Georgia Southern University students were arrested and charged with burglary and cruelty to animals after they broke into a chicken house and decapitated several animals. The students videotaped their actions which apparently was motivated by a desire to learn if chickens really can continue to move after their heads have been cut off.
In a news story on the arrests, Bulloch County Chief Deputy Gene McDaniel was asked what he thought an appropriate punishment for the students might be and he replied,
I?d like to see them put in about 40 hours at a poultry plant and see if it?s that much fun killing chickens for a living.
This brought an angry retort from United Poultry Concerns’ Karen Davis,
The seven young men and women who reportedly abused chicken and videotaped the abuse should get the maximum punishment for their crimes, as well as counseling. However, putting them to work in a chicken slaughterhouse, as proposed by Bulloch County Chief Deputy Gene McDaniel (perhaps in jest), is an inappropriate punishment if the goal is to rehabilitate them. Killing chickens for a living does fuel cruel and sadistic impulses in many employees, how vent hatred of their jobs on the chickens, their spouses, their children, their neighbors and themselves. Torturing the chickens at the plant becomes a job-related pleasure for many frustrated poultry workers, whose relationships to the birds is, after all, a completely violent one.
Alcoholism, amphetamine use, mental illness, assault with deadly weapons, manslaughter, child endangerment, child abuse, domestic violence and animal abuse are endemic to the slaughterhouse milieu.
For some reason she forgot to blame slaughterhouses for poverty, world hunger and the AIDS crisis.
Chicken killings traced to cues in spring kids to be cruel. Press release, United Poultry Concerns, September 12, 2003.
Conyers Teens Charged In Chicken Killings. Barbara Knowles, Rockdale Citizen, September 4, 2003.